With the new year upon us, it’s a great time to look at your website with a fresh perspective. Whether you need a complete overhaul or a simple refresh, making an investment in your presence on the web will yield a worthwhile return when you follow the best practices. Working with a team of professional web developers is always a wise decision, but there is a lot you can do, before you even involve an outside team, by setting your expectations, evaluating your site, and determining the project scope. I hope this information has been helpful to you and your team. As you move forward, remember the language of the Net is “change”.
– Randy Taylor CEO/Taylor Digital
Exceptional Website Design
Designing a website is no menial project by any means. Even small 10-15 page websites require some assistance and direction to prepare. Exceptional website creation depends upon the resourcefulness of a designer paired with complete follow-though by a developer. All websites have similar needs, though the outcome is different for everyone. Communicating your brand message effectively is very important and here at Taylor Digital we take that very serious. A website can be an extension of current branding (i.e. fliers, brochures, catalogs, sell sheets or business cards). When you approach a web design company to help accomplish your goals, usually there is an overall concept, while the details are more flexible. In this article we will cover expectation, planning, color, demographic, appearance, layout and budget. The look and feel of a website should grab visitor attention and direct them with a call-to-action. Once you gather your audience the ultimate goal is to keep their attention and convert, however that may be measured. An exceptional website design will accomplish all of this with a sleek user interface (UI). In the world today there are many tools are available that will help you publish your own website, though the expertise and assistance of a professional will ensure all bases have been covered for the best user experience. A web designer will understand you needs, rely on past experience and known how common users interact when presented with certain layouts/designs.
Website Design Expectations
Before the design phase even begins it is important that to review your expectations as a client. Attaining perfection is no easy task and may not be possible within your budget. With that in-mind it is important to focus goals and resources on building a strong foundation for a thriving future on the web. While perfect may not be possible, the key is to get as close as possible. When having a website created, it will be an extension of your brand online and represent your company to anyone who will find it via search engines or otherwise. Making sure you articulate your needs and explaining the details that are most important to you will help this new creation become a success for both you and your customers. Once you pass the ball, it’s up to the design team you’ve selected to concentrate on details, from conception to launch and deliver an exceptional website design for you.
Starting right away with a planning meeting will prevent any confusion or misconceptions with your design team. You can take this opportunity to remove any confusion, readdress any concerns your designer may have and get involved in the web design project at the beginning, instead of waiting until it’s almost complete. This will keep you in the loop for all design phases and present a clear line of communication with your designer. Once the design team has heard your expectations and requirements they can move onto planning. Understanding items that are most important and indicating items that can be approached in a later phase will help prioritize. Let’s suppose you wanted a really fancy animated map with pop-up windows because you saw one on a competitor website. It will be up to your designer to determine how much time this will take, review similar options and plan accordingly. Brainstorming and discussion will always help weed out ideas that may not bring as much value as other and aide in effective planning.
Color is often an effective secret source of communication in that colors have hidden meanings. Effectively using color to reach out to customers can be the difference between a visitor and a conversion. Trusting your designers experience and integrating company branding will help best communicate the principles and focus of your company. You may have a preexisting color scheme in place from a current website or need new recommendations. Whatever the case may be, a color scheme will need to be developed for your exceptional website design. With a capable designer on your team, selecting a color pallet that will subconsciously guide users, is a familiar task.
When creating a brand message to represent your company online you must keep in mind that you are targeting the same demographic and reaching out to a larger audience. An exceptional website design must keep your target demographic in-mind. For example, if your company produces chocolate, you will will use an appetizing brown dominant color to get visitors thinking about your delicate sugar treat easily. Secondary to colors you will work-in your original identity and branding for a unique appeal. Keep in-mind that various demographics are attracted to different things, so be sure to keep focus.
Appearance & Functionality
When designing an exceptional website two important factors are appearance and functionality. These two key items go hand-in-hand. If your site does not look professional/exciting enough to attract your demographic, it will struggle to be successful. On the contrary, you can have an amazing website design with poor functionality and users will likely be too frustrated to stick around and learn about your product or service. Finding a balance between a strong visual design and a functional interface will attract users, gain their attention and keep them eager enough to digest your content.
As a designer, they should be expected to create a professional design with a functional layout. The content layout should pull important items onto the homepage that will likely be dynamic and help users easily navigate your website. During this process, understanding the content that will be on the site is important. Without properly understanding the content, a functional content layout will be difficult to develop. While this part will be taken care of by your design team, they will expect feedback at the point of review.
In today’s market, the design of your website is leveraged on the estimated total budget for your project. Keeping your budget in-mind when requesting new features or late-phase changes will help decide on priority when completing the project. Discussing your budget and needs with your design team early on will help create an understanding of the projects direction. Once the budget has been decided, the design time will utilize available resources without sacrificing quality. Obviously, the larger the idea, the more resources needed to accomplish the project goals realistically.
A company website plays a very important role in online branding, marketing and awareness. If executed effectively, business opportunities will be available that were not before. Finding a design team that you trust and know can get the job done the first time is important. Creating an exceptional website design is not an easy task but when you take into account expectation, planning, color, demographic, appearance, layout and budget you have begun down the path to success. Above all, be involved in your project and pass on the passion for your business to your design team so they are able to let the same passion show through to your customers.